The dog health guide is a complete resource for understanding the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of canine diarrhea. Most cases of diarrhea in dogs can be cured be implementing a fast for 12 - 24 hours followed by a temporary switch to a bland diet. Persistent canine diarrhea, changes in behavior or diarrhea and vomiting together indicate a more complicated problem that requires the care of a veterinarian.
Never stop providing your dog with water to avoid dehydration. If a dog will not drink try ice cubes. If your dog still refuses to drink, particularly if small breed or puppy with diarrhea, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Quick Links to information on Canine Diarrhea
Common Causes of Canine Diarrhea
Problems with the Pancreas
Diarrhea due to Enzyme Deficiency
Diarrhea and Irritable Bowel Disease
Small and Large Intestine Problems
Illness as a cause of dog diarrhea
Dog with Diarrhea Symptoms
Vomit and Diarrhea Together
Symptoms of Intestinal Causes of Diarrhea
Treatment of Dog With Diarrhea
Canine Diarrhea Over the Counter Human Medication
Diarrhea often stops after the toxins have been eliminated from the body
Source: WSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Dog Diarrhea Problems and Signs
Canine diarrhea is a symptom of many diseases and is a reflection of a problem in the way your dog's body is absorbing nutrients. When this system becomes out of balance due to an infection, illness, allergy, parasites or medication that your dog doesn't tolerate well, the body reacts with diarrhea.
Dog Diarrhea Guide
Dog Diarrhea Problems
More than a few drops of Blood in Diarrhea
|Possible serious illness or intestinal disease||
Visit Vet ASAP
Diarrhea and Vomiting
|Poisoning, Parvo, Illness||
Visit Vet ASAP
Change in Behavior such as Depression
Visit Vet ASAP
* Fluid buildup in the tissue such as swelling in the legs
|Small Intestine Problem||Fast for 12 to 24 hours. Provide water or ice cubes. After fasting period, change to bland diet such as cooked lean ground turkey or chicken plus rice for 12 - 24 hours. See Veterinarian if condition does not improve.|
|Diarrhea - including
mucus, bright red blood
* Increased frequency of defecation
* Difficulty defecating or urinating (Tenesmus)
* Inability to defecate without pain or difficulty (Dyschezia)
* Weight loss
|Large Intestine Disease||Fast for 12 - 24 hours. Change diet to chicken/rice for 24 hours. See Veterinarian if condition does not immediately improve.|
|Diarrhea only symptom||Mild Infection, allergy, food intolerance||Change diet to chicken/rice for 24 hours. If recurs see Vet.|
|Dog Yellow Diarrhea||Food Intolerance, Eating of non-digestible object||Hold food for 24 hours. Change diet to chicken/rice after 24 hours. Plenty of water. If recurs or doesn't stop after 24 hours see Vet.|
|Black Feces||Bleeding or irritation in the digestive tract||See your veterinarian to be checked for serious disease|
|Light colored feces||Liver problems||See your veterinarian|
|Grey feces with strong odor||Calm digestive system. Withhold food for 24 hours. Provide water. Use chicken/rice diet.|
Dog with Diarrhea Treatment
Most veterinarians will begin treatment by checking your dog for parasitic causes of diarrhea. If this is ruled out then they move on to dietary change.
Mild Diarrhea in Dogs Treatment
For suspected mild gastrointestinal causes, such as intestinal tract inflammation, a vet will recommend fasting for 12 - 24 hours followed by small amounts of a bland diet, such as cooked lean ground turkey and rice. Feed at 1tbsp per 10 pounds of body weight. Provide a small serving every few hours for 12 - 24 hours after fasting. If the diarrhea improves, gradually increase the amount of bland diet provided over the next 1 - 2 days. Over the next 3 - 4 days, transition back to your dog's normal diet, by gradually reducing the amount of bland food, replacing it with your dog's normal diet.
Persistent Diarrhea in Dogs
For cases that do not go away, a vet may also recommend dietary change, but with a switch from your dog's current diet to a commercially available hypoallergenic diet to see if food allergy is the cause. This type of diet can also be prepared at home. Many vets suggest a commercial diet that contain hydrolyzed proteins since this type of protein is absorbed better into the body. Most dogs do well with this type of diet and will respond in one week to 10 days.
If this doesn't help, medications are prescribed that help with canine diarrhea caused by issues such as colitis. Usually this involves the drug metronidazole and an increase of fiber in the diet. Other choices include antibiotics to fight any bacterial infection (metronidazole, tylosine, tetracycline).
If this doesn't work then additional testing is done including blood tests, examination of the digestive system and biopsies of the intestines.
After ruling out other causes your veterinarian may indicate that your dog as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBD). Treatment for this condition includes several weeks of prescription corticosteroids. If it works the drug is slowly decreased in dose over time.
Natural Remedies for Dog Diarrhea
If diarrhea is a persistent problem and all of the above has been ruled out, then it might make sense to try restoring balance to your dogs digestive system such as Runni Poo Relief. It includes ingredients known to improve digestive function and health such aslantago major (Plantain), Alchemilla vulgaris (Lady’s Mantle) and Podophyllum (6C), all known for helping to restore normal stools. Discuss this option with your veterinarian.
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School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University